Jessica Watterson, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency

Romantic Comedy, Romantic Suspense


Brittany Kelley double majored in English Literature and History, and received a Master of Arts in History. A former analyst, she’s abandoned serious historical pursuits in favor of writing romance that walks the line between comedy and suspense. In her spare time, Brittany is busy wrangling her three children, trying to make the perfect loaf of bread, convincing her husband they need chickens, and drinking wine via FaceTime with friends. Oh, and books. All the books.

I cannot yell this enough: everyone’s path is different! I started taking writing seriously at the very end of 2017. I devoured craft books, got involved in the Twitter writing community. Everyone said to try Pitch Wars, so I entered in 2018… and got zero requests. Shelved *that* book and wrote furiously while waiting to hear back on Pitch Wars. I landed my first agent offer in December of 2018, received three agent offers total, went on sub, and didn’t go anywhere else. I snagged my current agent in the fall of 2020 after two magical weeks of querying and five offers of representation.

I mentored in Author Mentor Match R7, and my fabulous mentee went on to receive six offers of representation on her equally fabulous romantic comedy. I’ve worked closely as a critique partner with many now agented and soon-to-be published authors. I love working through developmental edits to help an author fully realize their creative vision on paper. Line edits are also totally my jam. As a former English teacher, I will absolutely cram grammar and word-smithing down your figurative throat.

One does not *simply* want to be a mentor. Okay, I mean YES, I will be a mentor, but I can never have enough writer friends. Selfishly, I’m in this to find more people to cheer for as they make their dreams happen. Is there anything better than watching a friend you’ve helped out achieve their goal? No! There is not! It literally brings tears to my eyes to think about how proud I am and happy for my friends’ and mentee’s successes. So yeah, if I mentor you, I will probably message you at some point to tell you I’m crying because you’ve made me happy. It’s fine, everything is fine.

 I want romance. All sub-genres, all heat levels, all romantic pairing welcome. I’d love to find more #ownvoices in my inbox this year. I really, really, REALLY want a high heat fantasy romance that makes me forget reality. If you have a hilarious contemporary rom-com, I want that too. Space opera romance? Yeah, I want it. Angsty women’s fiction adjacent romance that explores complicated familial dynamics but ends with a HEA? YEP gimme that. Do you write lyrical, whimsical romance that’s so light and fluffy I might just float away? You guessed it, I want that too. I EVEN WANT HISTORICAL ROMANCE THIS YEAR. I’m really craving a hot Scottish main character. I can’t explain it, don’t ask me to.

I am an ALL-IN mentor, as my last mentee can attest to. I will be there through revisions, line-edits, query writing, and I will absolutely throw my awesome query-tracking spreadsheet into your inbox.

As a mentor and critique partner, I love to get deep into the developmental work a book might need. I also like to hone in on how to bring out your voice and what makes the manuscript special, while balancing that with what’s marketable. I believe that the intersection of market and unique is where manuscript magic happens.


  • Romance
  • #ownvoices

I am here for ALL CATEGORIES OF ADULT ROMANCE. Send me your #ownvoices books! ANY ROMANTIC PAIRING. I prefer high heat romance as opposed to sweet, but don’t count yourself out, because I love it all. If it has a happily ever after or happily for now? GIMME. I want all sub-genres.


  • Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
  • Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
  • Skype or phone call
  • Freestyle in chat
  • Query support

Like any healthy relationship, the mentor/mentee relationship is founded on trust.
You’ve got to make sure that the person you choose to hold your word baby will not, in fact, toss it into the garbage while staring in your eyes and laughing maniacally.
I want my mentee to know that I’m not there to make their manuscript fit into some mold, heck, if I knew what the mold was for producing golden manuscripts I’d be churning them out.

We’ll be co-parents of your wordbaby, to take this metaphor and flog it to death. I’ll start out and look at big picture things: Does the primary premise make sense? Are there chapters that need to be reordered? Does the tension hold? Do character arcs make sense and are they satisfying? Are there chapters that need trimming?

And I’d send my co-parent a detailed letter describing what tripped me up on the first read-throughs and advise changes. Then, because I’ve found this easier with my CPs, I’d hop on the phone after they sit with the letter for a day or two. Go through it with them, talk it out, brainstorm more fixes. Send them my handy dandy revision spread sheet with homework to fill it out.

Round two is the the teenage years. That manuscript is getting feisty. It’s almost grown, but not quite. So I’d want to see it again! And evaluate the big picture changes— is it ready to go off to the real world? If not, send it back with more notes, another phone call, more virtual gif candy for my mentee.

If yes? Time for line edits and polish. That baby is almost all grown up. But before we push it into the brutal world of querying and the showcase, my co-parent and I need to make sure it’s as perfect as can be. So, after more suggestions in track changes and giving the author time to input them, I’d want to see it again before they toss it into the querying trenches.

And then it’s off to the races, and my mentee will get my trusty querying spreadsheet and a whole lot of cheering.

By then, my mentee and I are best friends, because I tricked them into thinking I’m smart and cool, and we meet up for margaritas/sparkling cider over Facetime and celebrate.


I’m looking for someone who understands that I’m going to be, as my students used to grumble about, *clears throat* TOUGH BUT FAIR. I want a mentee who wants to work with me to make their book as ship-shape as we can get it, who knows any feedback I give is with the ultimate goal of helping them find representation and a publisher.

I like to get to the heart of what I see needs massaging in the text, but I also *always* try to deliver a concise critique with a dose of compassion. I understand that your book is your art, not mine.

However, I’m also going to absolutely scream and make ridiculous comments in your manuscript, so whoever I pick needs to be able to deal with an absurd, off-the-walls cheerleader.



  • sexy fantasy romance (ISTG if you’re the next Ilona Andrews or Kresley Cole you better to sub to me)
  • hilarious contemporary rom-coms
  • women’s fiction adjacent romance
  • space opera style romance
  • romantic suspense
  • gothic mystery romance
  • cozy mystery adjacent romance
  • paranormal romance, the weirder the better
  • royal romance
  • high heat historical romance
  • cinnamon rolls
  • enemies-to-lovers
  • forced proximity
  • any rom that is light and fluffy and whimsical, literal cotton candy in book form



  • anything that ISN’T romance
  • sexual assault
  • child abuse
  • child endangerment
  • loss of child
  • death in childbirth
  • secret babies
  • erotica
  • hard sci-fi
  • hard military thrillers (please don’t waste your sub on me)


Faves, in no particular order:

  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • The Lovebirds
  • Charlie’s Angels (K. Stew)
  • The Mummy (Brendan not Tom)
  • Romancing the Stone
  • James Bond (Daniel Craig)
  • Mr. Right
  • Center Stage
  • The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
  • Sense & Sensibility (movie not book)
  • REBECCA (book not movie)
  • anything by Alyssa Cole
  • anything by Ilona Andrews
  • anything by Sarah MacLean
  • anything by Kit Rocha
  • Blackberry Jam (the condiment)